Homeless people with dogs

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Shakou, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Shakou

    Shakou New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bored, and more or less just felt like posting something new.

    This is something I think everyone has seen. Every summer, my husband and I go on long distance bike trips, and it's something we see a LOT going through cities. Just curious as to what people's thoughts/opinions of this are. I'll post my own thoughts a little later.
     
  2. Paige

    Paige Let it be

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't think its really any different than any one else having a dog. I do worry about medical costs however lots of non homeless people do not have money saved up or access to it if a vet bill arose.

    Here it gets very wet and cold in the winter. My dog would make a great bum dog. He doesn't feel it. For a dog less weather proof? I'd feel bad.
     
  3. GoingNowhere

    GoingNowhere Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,793
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    USA
    I think that they lead pretty decent lives overall and more than likely do a whole lot to improve the emotional/psychological life of their person. Most dogs would be thrilled to spend all day every day with their person and get to watch the word go by. This is entirely anecdotal, but I've never seen a reactive dog owned by someone homeless. Most I've seen are quite well habituated to the ongoings of daily (human) life and seem content.

    Granted, I do worry about what might happen in the event of a medical emergency, but I don't see a problem with the homeless owning dogs. After all, I'm guessing that most of those dogs were either with the owner before the circumstances arose or were adopted/rescued in some form.
     
  4. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,694
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Maryland
    This^
     
  5. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    14,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    Home Page:
    I don't think I can really say I have significant concerns for the dog that don't also apply to their homeless owner. I don't think the streets are much of a place to live, for man or dog.
     
  6. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,234
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    This is something a few of the rescues I worked with picked up on. They had a few dogs that had spent part of their lives as companions to homeless people, and those dogs were in really high demand as they were highly trained and well mannered, great socialization, etc.

    I think too, that dogs who elect to stay with a homeless owner long term and don't wander off are starting out with stable/less reactive temperaments anyway. If a dog is prone to wander and stuff, it's going to end up stray vs. staying with the same people.

    Overall, it's a pretty idyllic life for a dog. It's where dogs came from anyway, living in the "wilderness" with nomadic owners and hanging out with them/helping them all day. There's a pretty big homeless camp near our house. The people there are super nice, and there's a lot of dogs. They're always off leash but they're extremely well trained and well taken care of. They NEVER wander, even though nothing is stopping them. Totally into their people and just, really good dogs. The homeless people with them work really hard with them too. Mike has a big rottie mix that he found. It was adolescent unneutered male. Totally reactive and unsocialized. Now it's aloof and still very protective, but not reactive hardly at all. And he rides his bike all over the place with his dog off leash beside him without issues. It's not magic, but something is there. :dunno:
     
  7. Paige

    Paige Let it be

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think a lot of it has to do with the time they spend and dedicate to their dogs. Most homeless people's dogs are exposed to so much. Last time this thread came up all the BC Chazzers know the same homeless man's dog. He sits in front of the Skytrain at Waterfront station and that dog is so well behaved. He sits under this umbrella all day very still and he seems utterly content with his life.
     
  8. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Those are pretty much my thoughts. Think of all the dogs that have nothing to do 9 hours a day as they are stuck in a house, fed the same dog food every day and maybe get out and about 1 hour a day on a neighborhood walk (many don't get that).

    'Homeless' dogs spend 24/7 with their person, are always getting fresh air, new stimuli, get different kinds of food etc. It's a very natural kind of existence for a domestic dog.
     
  9. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
    On board with what everyone else has said.

    Are there risks? Sure. But it beats the hell out of leaving the pound out the back door.
     
  10. yoko

    yoko New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I don't know I always wonder about it.

    Not really the dogs sake but more the person. I know there are a lot of times I have put Yoshi before myself when it came to her care or her food. But in those situations I have always had a roof over my head and people who would help me if I ever needing something necessary like food.

    Also it may just be location but here a lot of the dogs I see with homeless look miserable for most of the year. OK just doesn't have people friendly weather. During the summer some of the dogs I've see look near collapse because of the heat. Most of the cooling stations aren't pet friendly and so the dogs are in 100-115 degree weather with insane humidity with limited water. During the winter even with a dog it's dangerously cold *except last year... last winter was nothing* and yet again the places people can go are not pet friendly so it's pick your dog or a warm place. Tulsa is NOT a pet friendly place and it does not have many resources at all when it comes to keeping pets with families/people during hard times. It's a bad situation for the dogs AND the humans.
     
  11. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,453
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    6 + finches
    Location:
    Upper Left hand corner, USA
    It really depends. Some here use dogs as begging tools - others use them as guard dogs in camps and they can be poorly contained biters defending drug stashes. Then there are the mentally ill... never met a crazy person yet who had a normal dog.
     
  12. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    9 not counting ducks, chickens, and fish
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    There are risks sure, but the dogs arent aware of those risks and for the most part IMO seem to lead very happy lives.
     
  13. sparks19

    sparks19 I'd rather be at Disney

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    28,563
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Lancaster, PA
    Home Page:
    Yeah i will go against the grain and say I don't really like it. NO shelter from the elements, possibly no food, definitely no medical care, free roaming, etc. for some reason we crucify people who have homes who can't afford medical care or yhe best food but then give hero status to homeless with dgs. I don't know. Can't take care of yourself, can't take care of another being.

    I also agree with beanie. I guess most of my feelings for why dogs shouldn't be out there applies to the people, too :(. Only the people don't really have a
    Choice (sometimes) but they do have the choice when it comes
    To the dog
     
  14. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,234
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Well, the homeless folks in our local camp are homeless because of the economy. They lost their jobs and homes got foreclosed on. A few actually do have jobs now, but don't make enough for rent and the housing authority's assistance list is backlisted for several years. A few are on SSI. There are single people, some married couples, they're all nice people. They have tents, and the folks in our neighborhood banded together to make sure no dogs or people were out in that big ice storm this last winter. Mike got his dog neutered. A few saved up and bought a trailer which is just kind of parked out in the field but they take care of it and don't let it get junky.

    Homeless doesn't mean you have no shelter. A lot depends on climate too. Here we have a nice temperate climate. Not too hot or cold regardless of seasons. Somewhere like Michigan I can see it being a problem in the winter. It's not really a problem here.

    There just isn't a one size fits all answer. Especially in our current economy when previously respected members of our communities are finding themselves in dire straits. I'd be willing to bet that despite the lack of cushy dog bed, their dogs are happy to stay with their people rather than sit on the concrete floor of shelter before getting the needle.
     
  15. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I don't have a problem with it and certainly think the dogs are better off than on the street. But I also think it's all too easy to romanticize the situation. I do worry about medical care for both the person and the dog. I don't think it's an ideal situation by any means.
     
  16. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Well, it's better than being alone, dead, or languishing in a shelter. And I think there are probably homeless dogs that are very happy. But honestly I think some romanticized version of a homeless dog's life as being awesome 24/7 probably isn't true in most cases.
     
  17. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Messages:
    27,771
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    IN
    Well it's not ideal for the owner or dog due to basic needs that may not be met...BUT.....

    I'd much rather see a dog wandering around with a homeless person than tossed in the backyard and ignored, or chained up with the collar growing into their neck....how many of THOSE have we seen on shows like animal cops? :( Hey, Patrick's owner had an apartment and food.......yet he was starved and dumped down the trash shoot, left for dead. Not an isolated starvation case as we all know.

    And to Sparks: I'm ok with ANYONE doing the best they can do for them and theirs. Purina is the best you can do? Fine with me, I've never put anyone down for what they provide. But please don't tell me your dog is peeing blood and you can't go to the vet TODAY, then show me pictures of your new car/outfit/puppy next week :mad:

    You're homeless and share a can of beans with your dog? Great! You're living in a cozy neighborhood, wearing nice clothes, watching your big screen and your dog is locked out back and you don't even bother to give his dinner tonight? Ya, I have a problem with you.....
     
  18. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    Southern Alberta
    There's a case in town here of a woman with now 3 dogs and is frequently homeless living in a tent. This is not a warm time of year either, it's getting into the negatives overnight now. Basically she has an 11 year old female JRT and her male puppy from 2 years ago and now she has a 4-5 week old puppy from the two of them. The puppy is not healthy, the 11 year old mother is not healthy, but the woman can't afford vet care for her dogs but refuses to surrender them to rescues offering to help the dogs and refuses to take them in because she's scared the vet won't give them back because she can't pay. She wants a promise she can have all of them back when she's not homeless (but like I said before she has a history of cycling being homeless and not) and that's just not possible.

    So while I think in some cases it's okay, I find stories of homeless people and dogs highly romanticised.
     
  19. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    22,034
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs
    Location:
    western Wa
    It depends on how they're taken care of.
     
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    Arnold and I would like to say Hi.

    There, now you have. ;)
     

Share This Page